When students walk into our classrooms every day, they know that they are in a safe place. As a result of this space, hardships are pushed to the side and the eagerness to learn prevails.
Making connections between academics and life experiences is at the forefront of teaching and student learning.
Every student that steps foot in the building has a zeal for learning. We are an IB school and do a lot of project based learning. As a result, content is meaningful and comes to life for our students. We incorporate a variety of learning strategies to ensure that each student's needs are met, right where they are and that they thrive within the district.
Unfortunately, we often see classroom libraries that group diverse books into categories that isolate or limit their use. Simply having a book bin labeled “cultures from around the world” or “black history month books” does not mean that a library is culturally responsive.
I want my students to think critically by providing books that reflect their diversity, backgrounds, and the communities in which we live, while exposing them to new ideas and concepts.
By providing students with this kind of literature, I am giving them the power to connect cultural knowledge, prior experiences, and performance styles to academic knowledge and intellectual tools in ways that legitimize what students already know.
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